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What’s really wrong with Nigeria?

NIGERIA is a beautiful nation inching into a state of dystopia. Can Nigeria really be redeemed? These are infinite questions begging for unending answers. The country is currently being plagued with so many generic sins and contradictions. The problems of Nigeria are intertwined: man-made and spiritual. While the pen-pushers in our midst try to lynch corruption, and the corrupt attitudes of our politicians, the plebeians are busy at the slightest provocation lynching and maiming themselves and the innocents with impudence and ignorance.

Poverty of mind has no credence for one’s level of education. Evil deeds to one another are a social norm in an Hobbesian state. The alleged lynching of a toddler or a minor for being what I call a ‘circumstantial juvenile’ in the Hobbesian state of Nigeria is the latest ugly news emanating from the beloved country. If the report is true, then it is yet another addition to the country’s plethora of sins. Where is the mind of man? A terrible thing to waste! Who could have committed that heinous crime to a minor? An unfortunate child in an unfortunate country; and for what justifiable reason was he killed? It’s terribly sickening!

The Ibadan-Lagos Expressway, another death-trap, has just consumed some flourishing lives; avoidable accidents, a nauseating trademark on our famished roads! From Lagos to Abakaliki, from Oyo to Ogbomoso; from Ibadan to Ife, Kuje to Abuja, it’s the same story from the book of death on Nigerian roads. Nigerians should buckle up, the road ahead may be rough if the country continues to thread this path with the non-chalant attitude of the people.

In retrospect, billions of dollars, naira and other currencies are being unearthed and recovered from the rapists of a hapless nation, with an unending anguish of recession and hope in the midst of hopelessness. Has anyone been brought to justice to deter others? Your answer is as good as mine. Peruse the ridiculous salaries of our politicians in Abuja. What do they do to justify their stupendous earnings? A collection of corrupt and noisemakers making laws for a raped nation. I am sympathetic with President Muhammadu Buhari as a lone fighter in an administration with the nomenclature of corrupt ‘men of yesterday’.

What actually are the problems with Nigeria? In his succinct preachments from his parchment: “The Trouble with Nigeria,” my mentor, late Professor Chinua Achebe, identifies our common problems in this book, while proffering solutions, but all the admonitions of Achebe  have sunk to deaf ears. Some Nigerian citizens and their leaders have symbiotic relationships. Those at their mercy are the impoverished and the vulnerable people in the society. Who will save the country from perilous? A gnashing question!

Nigerians have penchant for other people’s affairs more than their own affairs. The just-concluded general election in the United States, which stunningly produced Donald Trump, has given us more clearer picture of the mindset of our people in Nigeria.

We have always cried more than the bereaved in any ugly situation and circumstance. President Barack Obama, whose ascension to office Nigerians celebrated with pomp and pageantry has now become our unrepentant enemy. His inability to pay official visit to Nigeria has now become the country’s another conundrum. Obama may have justifiable reasons for not visiting Nigeria, the reasons that are best known to Washington. I am sure students of international politics and diplomacy will research into that reasons and come up with an opinionated answers or inferences in near future.

Nigerian politicians have been nothing but disappointments to Africa and to our citizens. I beg to ask for Nigeria to henceforth be tagged as “a potentially giant country of Africa,” not “a giant of Africa” as being vaingloriously touted. A-giant-for-nothing-country?

We have all it takes to be as prosperous as the United States but our collective patrimony has been openly raped and mortgaged in recent years. Corruption has been the bane of the country’s progress. Sadly, Jesus Christ would have cancelled his visits to Nigeria several times if he had had such itineraries. Literally, Jesus Christ’s second coming is expected to rapturally consume all these ghouls in Nigeria in order to bring sanity to a bruised country.

Ijoba orun ku si dede. Omo Nigeria e yi pada kuro ninu ese, itanje ati pansaga, ki oore ofe ati irorun le wole towa pada wa!!! (the day of reckoning is imminent, Nigerians should repent and desist from deceits for prosperity to return to Nigeria).

Corruption and underdevelopment are intertwined. No nation can succeed under the tutelage of corrupt people. Nigerians are masters at perfection of the art of corruption. It has become a norm. There is the hands of Esau in Nigerian pedestal of leadership and political fraternity.

Historically, when the autobiography and the history of Obama’s sterling records but tumultuous administration are written, his reasons for not visiting Nigeria will be revealed, debated and archived. We never can say never, Washington might change its mind for him to officially visit the country before his administration expires in January next year.

The bottom line is that, official visit or no official visit, Nigeria should re-organise its house first before expecting incorruptible administration from another country. Just like the United States, Nigeria has the inherent abilities to lead the world. We can still turn our graveyard or midnight to the dawn of a new era.

 

  • Balogun lives in Arizona, USA.